Jun 212016
 

The Thorns are playing Chicago this week, so we thought we would do a socks and underpants drive. If you squint, you can see the connection (white sox = sock drive).

Please bring packages of new socks, underpants, bras (and extenders!), and any other undergarments you would like to contribute. The recipients will be adult women (plus sizes are a plus) and children.

We will be contributing these items to three different organizations: two that we have worked with before and we know the people they serve are in need, and a new organization. The two existing organizations are Rose Haven and Raphael House. As a quick reminder, Rose Haven works with women and their children who do not have steady, consistent housing. They offer day services such as warm meals, new clothes, personal hygiene items, and community events. Raphael House serves those who are or have been victims of domestic violence. They have a undisclosed facility where these individuals and families can go and receive support as they make a transition from a violent environment. Candle in circle (2)

The new organization we will be collecting resources for is Rahab’s Sisters. This group serves vulnerable and exploited women in the Portland area. They are working to provide food and new clothing to the people they serve. We want to be able to provide them with socks, underpants and bras to help those in need.

Our mission at Rahab’s Sisters is to offer “Radical Hospitality” to vulnerable and exploited women in the Portland Metro area, especially those that have been impacted by the sex industry, domestic violence, poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness.

Their vision of living in a city where all women are safe ties in with what the Riveters stand for. They have an active social calendar with events and fundraisers about which we hope to help spread the news, and in which we hope to participate in the future.

The Fanladen will be open from 5pm – 6:30pm on Wednesday, June 22nd for donations. We will also be open for 1 hour after the match, from 9pm to 10pm, if you have anything you need to drop off.

 

 

May 252016
 

For the Thorns’ third home match, we have a new Match Day Drive.

This week, the items we’re pooling are small. They like to travel, and they are needed to support those who don’t have stable homes or are seeking shelter from domestic violence. These items clean up well and love a little shower time.

Stop by the Fanladen to drop off your travel-sized and full-sized sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, baby care products, and hair products including activator, relaxer, and hair grease before the match vs. Seattle. The Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) will be open from 2-3:30pm on Sunday, May 29th.

This Drive is for Rose Haven and Raphael House. We worked with Rose Haven for our Oral Care Drive in April and as a reminder, they provide support for homeless women and children in Portland.

Raphael House is a new one for the Riveters. They work with those impacted by domestic violence and provide a safe space to help start the transition to new housing in Portland. They also offer advocacy programs and operate a 24-hour crisis line. logo

We believe that everyone deserves to live a life free from violence. The mission of Raphael House is to engage our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.

The items we are collecting will be used by the women and children who are seeking help in their Emergency Shelter. Raphael House has 11 living areas: 9 for families, and 2 for individual adults. Raphael House provides on-site access to food, clothing, household supplies, and toiletries. Every year the Emergency Shelter serves 130 adults and children.

Our drive will help Raphael House continue to support this underserved community.

May 212016
 

On May 18th, the Riveters’ Community Outreach Crew dropped off our Oral Care Drive donations at Rose Haven. During that visit, we got a tour of their facilities and developed a better sense of how they are making an impact in our community.

Rose Haven, located in NW Portland on 18th and Irving, provides assistance to 70-90 guests a day, or about 3,000 people a year. These guests visit a total of 15,000 times a year with holidays and busy periods. Guests can have warm meals, access to clothing, shoes, personal supplies, and medical care, as well as participate in community events. Rose Haven operates out of the basement of the First Immanuel Lutheran Church’s administrative building. We met up with Katie O’Brien, who is the Community Outreach & Development Officer for Rose Haven. She showed us around their modest facility, which is a safe haven for women and children.

We have an open door policy, and accept any woman in any condition who needs our help.  Staff and volunteers form a compassionate and supportive team for women who are traumatized by homelessness, abuse, and other disruptive life challenges. Rose Haven is a safe, respectful environment where change begins. We address basic needs, and help women build confidence and sustainable lives for themselves. Through reflection of trust and mutual respect, the foundation on which personal healing and healthy choice making begin.

Gabby Rosas, Katie O'Brien, and Marrion Skinner with the donations from the Rose City Riveters' first Match Day Drive for Rose Haven

Gabby Rosas, Katie O’Brien from Rose Haven, and Marrion Skinner with the donations from the Rose City Riveters’ first Match Day Drive

During the tour, we got to watch guests play Bingo as well as enjoy a hot meal served by volunteers. Rose Haven has several community partners who donate meals to their guests, be it full meals from Elephants Deli or sandwiches from a local shop. While Rose Haven does not have an on-site kitchen with the capacity to cook meals from scratch, they do have enough room to prep the donated meals. The ability to help with the basics, such as a healthy meal, allows guests to focus on their other needs.

Rose Haven also has a store on site full of clean, donated clothes, shoes, underpants, bras, and hygiene products. There are no cash transactions in the store, as each guest has access to “shop” and pick out new articles once every 30 days. They then can get advice as to how to make different outfits out of the choices they made, whether they are going in for a court appearance or visiting with their kids. The assistance Rose Haven provides is to help build comfort and make to take away some of the stressful parts of their guests’ everyday lives so they can focus on finding ways to improve their environment.

Women can come in with their children, too. They can also bring in their pets. Rose Haven works to always have a stock of pet foods, as they know that pets are some people’s companions.

It was a very inspiring visit. Rose Haven strives to create a safe place for any woman to come and seek out support. While the Riveters were able to donate over 35 pounds of oral care products (200+ toothbrushes, 90+ tubes of toothpaste), we were also able to experience how quickly they go through their donations. Helping 70+ women a day takes a lot of resources. We will continue to work with Katie and her team on future events and drives.

 


 

As a follow-up to our first Match Day Drive post, I want to provide some additional information regarding our Match Day Drives and other Community Outreach opportunities.

One area in which that the Riveters have wanted to do more, but have not been financially able to in the past, is outreach. Historically, we have engaged in ticket exchange and merch production/sales to help fund our tifo and game day operations.  Everything had been self-sustaining at the minimum; we’ve reused tifo materials until they had too many layers of paint for seams to hold in overhead pulls, or we reused the materials from past displays to keep costs low.

We had a very successful “Tifo Superhero” fund drive this spring where we were able to raise $3,400 from the sale of limited-edition pins. This funding, along with some other donations earmarked for tifo, will support all of our planned tifo activities for 2016. This means that we need another focus for the ticket exchange and merch proceeds aside from our operating expenses.

We plan to still generate revenue, but we have minimal operating expenses (smoke, flags, photocopies, upfront merch production costs) that need to be covered. There’s also a little trophy we like to hand out at the end of the season. But those are all costs that are easy enough for us to plan for. And we anticipate that the gear we put out this year will help us increase our capacity to do so much more.

Going forward, resources will be set aside to aid in community outreach. This year we are working with quite a few different agencies throughout the Portland area to get them the physical donations they need through the Match Day Drives. We want the capacity to provide them with additional support as well. We want to start being a bigger voice in the community, as well as take on small projects where we see a need. We want to be able to contribute our time, our energy, and our resources to helping those who need it the most. Buying Riveters merch is going to help us do all of this.

We also want your input on our merch line. We have set up an email address for you to send us your ideas, be it in the form of a description, a rough sketch, an item you would like us to make, or even a full-on design. If you want it, let us know! Email us at merchideas@rosecityriveters.org, and the design team will review your submission and send a response. Note that for copyright reasons, merch designs cannot include the word “Thorns” or any player likenesses.

As our focus pivots toward community outreach, we want to make sure that all of our members are aware of our financial shift as well.

May 182016
 

For the Thorns’ next home match on May 21st, the Riveters’ Match Day Drive will be to support the YWCA of Greater Portland and Impact NW. These organizations are already partners and are working together to help those in need in our community by providing a safe place for individuals and families to turn to when in need. They are not just an immediate resource, but also strive to create lasting opportunities for those they help.

The YWCA is a national organization with local chapters that are focused on improving their communities. YWCA of Greater Portland has been working in the local community for over 100 years. Today, the YWCA works closely with other organizations to help educate about oppression and create opportunities in our community for equality. YWCA_prefer_loc_persm_cmyk

The YWCA of Greater Portland’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 

 

Impact NW is a local organization that has been helping low-income Portland residents since 1966. Today, they have services available in Multnomah, Clark, Washington and Clackamas Counties and parts of Washington state. They strive to provide support to individuals and families in both the short term and the long term so everyone has a chance to achieve their goals.

Impact NW

By working with schools, businesses, faith communities, other community-based organizations and governmental agencies we create a safety net and springboard for community members to improve their quality of life and achieve independence.

 

 

Both organizations are offering immediate assistance to those in our community who are either homeless or in transition, and often those they are helping do not have access to food prep stations. When we offered our support, their ask was very simple: help them fill their pantry.

This weekend, please bring non-perishable pantry items to the Fanladen (1633 SW Alder St) before you head into the stadium. The individuals and families these organizations are helping may not have access to a safe home to go and cook in, so if your item requires cooking, please make it microwavable and easy to open. Often those seeking help are in need of very substantial foods, like peanut butter or tuna. Below is a complete list of the items we are looking to collect:

  • Oatmeal (packets)
  • Peanut butter (jars and single-serve cups)
  • Cereals (single-serve packages)
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Noodles and pasta (canned with pop-up lids, cups, or microwavable bags)
  • Rice dishes (cups, microwavable bags)
  • Mac & cheese (regular boxed and microwavable)
  • Fruit cups
  • Fruit leather
  • Granola/trail bars
  • Crackers
  • Rice cakes (Quaker)
  • Assorted nuts (single-serve packages)
  • Juice box packs
  • Canned goods (pop-up lids are best, please) – Soup, vegetables, tuna, chili

The Fanladen will be open on Saturday from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm, so there should be plenty of time to get your donations in. Let’s help these organizations continue to provide services to our community!

***UPDATE***
The Fanladen will also be open on Sunday from 10am to 1pm before the Timbers match. You can drop off your donations then as well.